What Are The Pillars of Design for Wearables?

What Are The Pillars of Design for Wearables?

You’re wondering about the, Apple Watch, right? You may have one: I do. But still, you wonder. Is this really a thing? What’s the “use case”? Well, here’s the start of an answer, taken from a presentation given by Mike Bollinger of LiveEvent.

LiveEvent is a really great web development shop in Minneapolis, focused on mobile app design. They have come up some guidelines for their designers to follow on everything mobile; all based around how the Apple Watch connects to its users. Their view is that to be successful, every wearable app has to deliver on five demand criteria which are essential to consumers:

  1. Invisibility – Wearables have to operate in the background, empowering you to take action without looking geeky. (i.e., the Apple watch buzzes gently when you should go left or right, but only the wearer knows.)
  2. Intimacy – Devices and software has to be personalizable to you; so you don’t see the stuff you don’t care about.
  3. Interaction – Wearable devices have to engage with the wearer however they want – with what you say, what you touch, what you feel. It has to be easy to control and intuitive.
  4. Intention – What you do with the device has to be deliberate and in context with what else is happening in your life. For example, you want the watch to automatically send you to your phone (or desktop) when what you ask for can’t be done on the watch face itself.
  5. Interruption – Wearables have to get over the false assumptions we share about how much time we actually have. The device has to uncover extra time for you. For example, we want phones designed for “glancability” – to provide you with information even when you are running from one meeting to the other.

Finally, Mike made a really compelling point about how we need to think about mobile as it relates to the generation of millennial consumers. This sounds so simple, you might miss it. “Mobile is not a device” he says. “It’s a lifestyle.”

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